Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My "Soul Talk" to me-- the mother of a drug addict

I am not happy with myself. That is not to say that I'm not happy. I've had to talk a hard look at myself and I had a conversation with my soul-- that inner person that lives inside my heart...my thoughts... my "being".

I miss my fun-loving self. I realize that I've become a recluse, at home. I'm so starved for my quiet time-- "me time" that I have become territorial when anyone distubes my sanctuary...my home. Consequently, I find myself lacking patience with my son. I tune out his chatting to me by becoming fixated on my lap top.

I'm busy. I'm trying to solve a problem (uploading or editing a picture).

What has happened?

I think that the root of my problem is that my son's addiction has taken over my life. For most of last year, I spent months agonizing about my son's sobriety. I had to battle my motherly tendency to NOT enable my son.

I have learned to hate the word co-dependence. I've read books on it, but my son has used that label to push my buttons... "mom, you're a co-dependent".

That's it! My son has learned how to push my buttons. I have a lot of them--


My son seems to have found where they are, and he knows how to push them.

I was looking at photos of my son, that are hanging in my hallway. I still see that precious beautiful boy. I realize that I am collapsing around feelings of dsappointment for how my highest hopes for my son didn't happen.

Who knew that my precious boy would start smoking weed in middle school? Sadly, I missed all of the signs. This morning I was remembering a time when I found a box of baggies. I remember asking my son while they were in his car... I cannot remember his excuse. Little did I know, until my son recently told me, that he was dealing weed and (according to him) making a lot of money.

I remember noticing his collectin of video games... new (and expensive) shoes, that I could not afford... new clothes-- and being told that his dad bought them. Little did I know that drugs paid for these.

I've tried not to blog much about the stories my son has admitted to me-- about the supposed tens of thousands (he claims $100,000) he's made dealing drugs, over the years. My son was telling me this recently, and I asked him -- "where is it? what have you got to show for it?"

He paused. "Up my nose".

Sad. So sad.

My hopes and dreams for my son was that we would be close. I never had that with my parents. At times, I feel we are close. Recently, I feel we are not on the same page.

I have stopped asking him to come to church with me. I can't make him.
I have listened to him say hurtful things like I'm "too religious" and his friends don't like talking to me, because they feel that I preach.

That's a button my son loves to hit-- INSECURITIES. Most times, what he says isn't true, or he has exaggerated it. Still, it makes me cry-- alone. I don't show it, but it hurts very deeply.

I feel as though my JOY button is broken. I've become so serious, arouind my son. He says I'm grumpy....testy... bitchy. I probably am.

I have deep-seeded anger towards where my son's life has been. He has a long way to go.
Already, he lost his new phone. It's been less than a week. He got it back, but he had to back-track to where he left it.

He's overdrawn. Again. His check to the IRS bounced. Why? Because he's taking money out with his ATM from places, other than his bank. It's not for drugs... $10.00 here and there.

There goes my HIGH EXPECTATIONS button. I have tried, every way that I can, to teach him how to manage his money.

Let my son makes his own mistakes. Let my son learn from his mistakes.

Yes, I know. But my JUDGMENTAL button gets pushed and I become really irritated with his lack of responsibility.

I know that what I need to do is to let go of what I have no control over. As a God loving, Jesus Believing Christian... I know that I need to lay all of this at the foot of the cross. I know that God has a plan. I know that God feels my pain. I know that nothing is impossible for God to do.

Yet, somehow, my soul feels weak and I want my joy back.

I love my son and I know that he needs to live with us to learn life skills. But for how long?

Will he ever learn?

Then, there is still my fear of his addiction calling him back.

I try to keep a positive attitude. But, I think I'm heading into a meltdown.

I haven't been blogging on a regular basis. I need to do that, more.

It feels good to unload what I've carried for too long.

I have to get back to work. I'm sitting in the library of the high school where I work. This is where I come to blog-- not from my desk, during work hours.

I am tuning out dozens of high school kids who are acting plain silly. That's just how they are-- despite their beards and muscular legs. My son still acts like he's in high school.

More later....

I'm still trying to sort out my feelings. My soul is feeling tested right now.

I have run out of time to proof read or edit...so here is my entry, in the raw.
(Yeah, I'm a perfectionist... it comes from insecurities and a mother who was just like I'm starting to become. God help us all.)


Monday, April 20, 2009

He's back and more later

I'm on my break, at work. My son returned 2 hours later.

He's trying to cold turkey off suboxone. Not smart. Hence, his belligerence.

He's clean. He says he almost used, but that the thought evaporated.

He gave me his car keys. We talked.

I'm the Monstery. I pick on him.

Addicts... sometimes I feel that they are the most selfish people on the planet. Then again, the need to use overpowers anything else.

We're on "good" for now.

More later...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

...and the devil makes me eat my words. Brian is gone, again.

My son has peeled out of th driveway in his car-- suspended license and no insurance. He won't answer his cellphone.

What happened?

During the week, there are no problems with my son living with us-- for the most part. He comes home, naps, eats dinner, helps to clean the kitchen. He reads a book.

Weekends are another matter. He sleeps in late, smokes cigarettes, watches TV, lives in his pajama and eats whatever is in the kitchen.

He doesn't have any money-- he makes $200.00 a week, and he's paying off his debts. He's almost debt-free.

I had much to say, but my husband just found foil and a straw.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Blogoversary

Wow! One year has passed.

I'm tired and I don't have a lot of time to write.

My son is clean. He's working. He's still using suboxone, but cutting back.

He went to a meeting, tonight, with his sponsor.

He is trying to quit smoking. He can't, but he's cutting back.

For the most part, he's no problem living here.

I get frustrated with what I perceive to be "laziness". My husband tells me he was that way at 20. He tells me my son is a typical 20 year.

I am learning to bite my tongue and to not fight little battles.

He's come a long way in one year-- three relapsed and 3 1/2 months of sobriety.

There is hope. We've been through so much. I don't wish this on any parent.

My heart goes out to addicts. I cannot fully understand the way an addict thinks. I cannot understand the agony of needing a fix.

I only know that my son has fought a valiant battle to stay sober. He appears to be maintaining his sobriety.

He is slowly learning life skills, and I am doing my best to be helpful.

We have good days, bonding. Some days, I feel frustrated at his immaturity.

Drugs have messed up his beautiful mind. He told me that tonight.

One year... I've been blogging for one year.


I give God thanks for his mercy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

...and the addict lived happily ever after

Today's title is my daily prayer.

Gosh, I haven't blogged in a long time! So much has been going in my life. I'm the one who feels that she needs some serious therapy. I'm finding that I am irritable. Could it be that I just dodged a bullet in losing my job? School cuts are hitting my district. For almost two weeks, my knees were shaking. Rumors flew that someone, who had lost their job, was going to exercise (or, should I say "exorcise") their right to "bump" me from my job. Literally, they can use their seniority to take away someone who is on the bottom of the totem pole in seniority-- that would be me.

I'm usually "Miss Susie Sunshine" who tries to be perky and encouraging when people are down. When it hit me, I collapsed a bit. Overall, I leaned on my trust and faith in the Lord. My human nature, being what it is, started to work in my subconscious mind.

What does this have to do with my son? A lot. Everything he did was blown out of proportion in my mind. I had a mental breakdown last week. I am ashamed at my behavior.

How is my son doing?

He is loving his job. I try to give him a lot of props for his positive attitude. He never complains about going to work. He dresses and looks neat and clean. He is a grocery bagger, and he works very hard. I thank the Lord that my son has a job (heck, I thank the Lord that I have a job!). B says he realizes how blessed he is to have this job, and he doesn't want to lose it. One of the owners told me what a great worker my son is. Amen.

My son has given up ALL of his friends. 100% of them. Thank you, Jesus. Amen. A few weeks ago, B lost his cellphone (he's always losing things). His father is unable to buy him a new one (do I hear an "Amen"?) We won't buy him one.

I see this as a blessing. His phone number is "suspended". I am hoping that is a clear signal to his past druggie friends that B is out of circulation. Go away! Adios! Do not contact my son, thank you very much.

Our home phone rarely rings for him, if at all. There was that brief interlude where someone was calling here. I told him that he was not to be spotted at my home, nor to call. He was the "dude" who supplied my son with weed.

Will B live happily ever after? I can only pray...

Now, why did I have a meltdown?

There is controversy about ADD. Some camps say that it's a myth. Others swear that ADD is a real disorder. I deal with ADD at my school. In fact, I type all the 504 Plans (school accommodations based on things like this). I'm amazed at how many high school students have 504's for ADD and ADHD. There is a correlation with their ADD diagnosis and their grades and struggles at school. I believe that there is validity in ADD as a diagnosis, but I also think that this is over-diagnosed.

I wonder....does B have ADD? I say that because he can't focus. Sometimes, just watching my son, he seems to run himself in circles. He forgets things. He loses things. He starts projects and completely forgets about them -- laundry, chores, phone calls to make... or, is it the years of drug use that has affected his mental ability to remember things?

B cannot manage money at all. This has caused a lot of tension in this house. I should blog more often, because I could ramble on and on... I won't. Suffice it to say that my son lost $100.00 bill. At first, we (husband, too) and I didn't believe him. However, he tore up his room. It looked like a hurricane had gone through it. He was so upset.

B also lost a pair of new pants. Two weeks later, he found them.

He's lost both of his blood sugar meters. God knows where.

He's lost a set of keys.

See what I mean?

Last night, I really lost my patience. It was really stupid, in retrospect. I had picked up B from his job. B promptly made a huge bowl of salad, that could feed six people. I'm a "foodie" and I have kitchen tools that I treat with respect. I watched B using my expensive knife on a cutting board that I never use (the one that's built in to the counters). I winced at the way he was whacking away at it, but I bit my tongue. I was afraid that I'd get ugly, and I didn't want that to happen.

He left the kitchen in total chaos. I'm a kitchen neat freak and a germaphobe about how I cook. I can't help myself.

Two hours later, I'm unwinding and realizing that I have had little time to myself, to do something fun.

"When's dinner, mom?" he says...while sprawled out on a couch and reading a book.

I lost it. At that moment, I felt like I was the Kitchen Servant, Chief Cook & Bottle Washer!

I blew an artery, and I regret it now.

All I could think of was "why can't someone plan and cook a meal for me? I want to be cooked for and served. I deserve this !#$#$#@$....and then, I knew...the devil got me. Heck, take me out to dinner. Please. However, dining out is not in our budget. Not for a long while, really.

It was ugly.

My husband walked into the living room and hugged me. B looked hurt and angry and went into his room. I vented my feelings, and my wonderful husband sat and listened, and he said he understood.

This is wrong. This is so wrong. I was behaving like a whining person.

I ended up cooking dinner, from scratch. Fortunately, I keep pre-cooked ground beef (no, I'm not launching into a recipe) in the freezer. I opened up a can of crushed tomatoes and made a marinara sauce with some dried herbs from my garden. 30 minutes later, dinner was ready. I wasn't hungry.

My son and husband ate dinner, while I tried to calm down. B thanked me, and seemed to be fine with me.

When I returned to the kitchen...there sat the mess.


I think that the three of us have cabin fever. B doesn't have car insurance, so he relies on us for rides. My husband hasn't been feeling 100%... he's still fighting a cold that has left a cough and sore tonsils -- and he won't go to the doctor.

I'm feeling old, I think. Maybe it's the recent female surgery, because of my confirmed menopause. The job loss scare took it's toll on me.

This morning, I am thinking that my emotional problem comes from being exercise deprived (swimming) and not doing anything fun...for me, to try and save money. My son is not cheap-- his medical insurance costs $400.00 a month, not to mention his meds for diabetes and doctor visits. He eats a lot, too.

I still need to deal with my lack of trust in my son. However, I am seeing signs that he really is staying clean and sober. He is testing clean. He is always home, if he's not working. The phone doesn't ring.

Still, I feel sorry for my son. What I continue to pray for is that he will make new friends. A Christian friend would make my heart soar-- someone who would encourage my son to go to church.

I find my strength and am fed spiritual food when I am at church. I enjoy each Sunday morning, sitting next to my husband. I enjoy contemporary Christian music. I listen, with rapt attention, to our pastor teaching the Gospel in a user-friendy way. I pray that for my son. He has been spiritually drained, and I see behavior in him that is not coming from God.

Then again, when I least expect it, he breaks out in prayer and says the sweetest things.

There is always going to be a spiritual battle with my son. The Dark Side wants him back. But, my son says that he does not way to live that way again.

One year later... I feel as though my son is riding in calmer waters. He just needs to be aware of the sharks.

Friday, April 3, 2009

One year has passed already

Yesterday, I was driving my son to his college night class.

"Do you realize that one year ago, yesterday, we checked you into a treatment facility?", I asked.

"Yep, sure do!"

In many ways, this year has flown by. At times, though, I felt as though time was standing still. I've had so many emotional roller coaster rides with my son. Can I say that he's come a long way? In some ways...

To me, I'm the one who can say that I've come a long way. Who knew, until a year ago, that my son was a functioning heroin addict? I didn't even know that heroin could be smoked!

In one year's time, I have learned more about drugs, drug lingo, rehab, the 12-steps, co-dependence....and all the dysfunction that comes wtih addiction.

In one year's time, my blog has grown in readership. Most of my visitors read (or I assume they are) but don't leave comments. Those who do leave comments, give me pause to really think about what they say.

I'm not alone, that's for certain. I've had addicts leave comments to me, or who have emailed me privately-- sadly, most of them don't leave a way for me to reply. I can only hope that they are checking back to see if I respond.

I read the blog "An Addict in my Son's Bedroom" on a regular basis. I feel as though we are in a similar situation. My son's sobriety is ahead of their son, but nonetheless, "Dad" expresses his thoughts and feelings as though he is reading my own.

My son will turn 21 in seven months. He has a very long way to go. So far, he's testing clean for opiates. I am deferring to his stepdad to be the person to talk to B. My son needs a male role model, and my husband is a very positive role model. I have noticed that my husband has thawed out, towards B, since January-- when we found out that he was lying to us about being clean.

Those stupid foils! I find them, in ways that always shock me-- when I open a magazine, or buried deep in the corner of B's closet. Of course, I test, right way and he comes up clean. I hate them... that dirty black line where my son smoked this dirty drug and polluted his brain with it. They disgust me. We purged his room and car. I told him to look everywhere. I want these gone and I'd better not find another one.

B gets frustrated when he feels I suspect that he's lying or using. Go figure. He cannot fathom how afraid I am of my son relapsing. I know that worrying about him relapsing isn't doing any of us a favor. I don't trust my son. He's forgetful. He loses things. He can be all gung-ho about doing something, and the next day he can be depressed and feeling hopeless.

Right now, he appears to be in an "up" mood. I'm not. I just realized that B didn't return my cellphone that I let him borrow last night. We needed a way to find out what time to pick him up from his college class. B "conveniently" forgot to give it to me. I went to use it, and it's not there.

B has lost countless cellphones.

I'm trying to fight the stress of knowing that my job is perilously close to being cut. I could, potentially, become the victim of the school budget cuts. I have the lowest seniority. I feel as though my life is being battered by the devil. My faith is being tested....so is my patience.

I told my son, this morning, that I am going into survival mode. Any and all things that I consider my "wants" and "fun" is out. I'm going back into the survival skills I learned as a divorced mom-- when I eeked by from paycheck to paycheck...sometimes in the red. I can do this. I need to learn how to survive on one paycheck...even if I get to keep my job. Our economy isn't through beating a lot of us up.

Maybe, this situation will be my son's way of seeing that even I understand that the recession means sacrifice. He was so upset, last week, feeling that after payday and taking care of his expenses (and fun money) he was in the red. Yep, know what that's like.

Sorry... I digress.

A year ago, today, I remember the sense of peace that I had-- knowing that my son was in a treatment center. Like so many parents, sometimes we get a strange kind of comfort knowing that our kids are not out in the streets.... stealing, lying or dealing to buy their drugs.

Today, is a good day. My son is at work. He has my cellphone, but I'll get it back tonight. I'll test him, too... when he least expects it. So far, he never argues about it. He complies.

He says that I don't praise him enough. I think I do. I need to work on not allowing my own fears to manifest into talking down to my son.

He's a sensitive young man. He's very insecure. He's an addict.